Believe in change

By Garry Doherty, The Open Group

Many years ago I remember watching a TV documentary about the Apollo 11 moonshot. It was, as you would expect, very interesting; however, the only real memory of the program which has stayed with me was of a segment of the program which had little to do with Apollo 11 itself.

The cameraman was recording some footage of a guy who was cleaning the floor with a mop. An interviewer entered shot and engaged the cleaner… the dialogue went something like this:

Interviewer: Hi there, I wonder if you could give us a few minutes of your time?

Employee: Yeh, sure.

Interviewer: It must be amazing to be part of a team like this?

Employee: I guess.

Interviewer: Do you ever get the chance to meet any of the astronauts?

Employee: Oh no, sir.

Interviewer: So, what is your main role here?

Employee: I am helping to put a man on the moon.

Today, I am still humbled by that admission. Here was a man, who, despite his lowly manual labor, knew exactly that he was part of a team and understood his organization’s goals and the nature of his contribution.

So what can Enterprise Architects learn from this?

Well, at least part of what Architects do is to initiate change; but initiation is only the beginning. It’s not just enough to explain what change is going to happen; it’s also critical to explain why the change is necessary and what the impact that change will bring.

So, bear in mind that it’s not enough to just tell people. They need to believe as well!

Garry DohertyGarry Doherty is an experienced product marketer and product manager with a background in the IT and telecommunications industries. Garry is the TOGAF® Product Manager and theArchiMate® Forum Director at The Open Group. Garry is based in the U.K.